Chanchal Ankush

Where do you live?

I live in Ulhasnagar, Mumbai


What is it like growing up in Mumbai with a disability?

Being visually impaired was only a disability when I didn't know how to work and survive in this fast paced city. At first, when I was unaware of how things worked here, I used to get scared a lot. Even while on the road I would get scared of the sounds of vehicles, I would literally run in the opposite direction of the vehicle. I would feel terrible to even come out of my home.

But later on my mom taught me how to walk on the streets taking support of the stick and the ground. It is all thanks to my mother for bringing me out of my shell and making me independent that I am who I am today. Now I do not consider it my disability anymore since I have learnt the tricks of how to manage everything on my own.


Can you give a bit of background to your life before COFVI?

Before joining COFVI I used to work as a sales executive in Vodafone. I had no aim in life since I knew I would not be getting any reputed job anywhere.


How did you hear about COFVI?

I learnt about COFVI through the National Association for the Blind).


Why did you apply to COFVI?

When I found out that COFVI taught the visually impaired, like me, every aspect of fragrance I decided to apply, since I had always been attracted to this field. I was very interested in fragrances; this field has somehow pulled me towards it. I was always curious about knowing the fragrances of different products and ingredients. Since I am blind I am not able to see the things so at least by smelling I can have an idea of what something will be like.


How has COFVI impacted your life?

COFVI has changed my life to a great extent. Now I am independent and self confident. Now I feel I can do anything in this field without so much support from others and it has instilled a sense of purpose in my life.


What have you been doing since graduating from COFVI?

I am currently working in a fragrance company called CPL Aromas which I joined after graduating from COFVI.


What is your favourite thing about working with fragrances?

Smelling, distinguishing different smells and evaluating them are the things I love most about working in fragrances.


What is your favourite ingredient?

Basil, because its herbal, green and gives you freshness.


Where do you get inspiration for fragrances?

Everyday I get to learn and smell different things. For people like me touch and smell are two important things since we are not able to see. For us, the sense of smell is like a god’s gift to us, making us feel alive.


What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying to COFVI?

I would definitely want people like me to join COFVI if they are interested in the field of fragrance and curious about perfumery.